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On Prescription of Action for Reconveyance based on Fraud:

G.R. No. 96829 December 9, 1991
Facts: On April 1987, a complaint was filed by herein petitioners against private respondents mainly for the
recovery of a property, alleging that Emiliano Casipit is the true and lawful owner of the questioned property
located at Sinalhan, Sta. Rosa, Laguna by virtue of continuous, uninterrupted, peaceful, open and public possession
in the concept of owner since 1930; that they were deprived of ownership thereof by the Beatos through Narciso
Beato, who filed a Petition for Reconstitution of Titles in the name of Gabriel Beato, using fictitious documents.
Petitioners therefore prayed that TCT and other succeeding titles be cancelled, as well as the tax declarations; that
the questioned property be reconveyed to them; that the document entitled, "Kasulatan ng Pagmamana at
Paghahati," insofar as it included the questioned property be rescinded; and that private respondents be ordered to
pay damages and attorney's fees.
The lower court dismissed the petition, holding that the defendants have a better right than the plaintiffs, that the
cause of action of the plaintiffs being based on fraud, has prescribed for it must be filed within 4 years after the
cause of action arose. The issuance of the reconstituted title over the subject lot and its registration in the office of
the Register of Deeds of Laguna, in 1963 is the starling date for the prescriptive period to commence. The
respondent court affirmed the said decision and denied petitioners motion for reconsideration, hence, this petition.
Petitioners Contention: pursuant to the Certification issued by the Bureau of Lands that Patent over the questioned
property has not been issued to Gabriel Beato, the "Kasulatan ng Pagmamana at Paghahati" is therefore a void
contract. This being the case, the action taken by petitioners is imprescriptible. Private respondents Diaz spouses
were buyers in bad faith because they had full knowledge that Emiliano Casipit has been in actual possession in the
concept of owner of the questioned property and paid the real property taxes thereon.
Issue: Whether petitioners action already prescribed
Held: Yes

There is no dispute that an action for reconveyance based on a void contract is imprescriptible. However,
this is not the case at bar.

The action filed by petitioner before the trial court was 1) for reconveyance based on fraud since the
ownership of private respondents over the questioned property was allegedly established on "false
assertions, misrepresentations and deceptive allegations"; and 2) for rescission of the "Kasulatan ng
Pagmamana at Paghahati. Thus, the action for reconveyance based on fraud filed by petitioners before
the trial court is subject to prescription.

Based on jurisprudence, the prescriptive period for the reconveyance of fraudulently registered real
property is 10 years reckoned from the date of the issuance of the certificate of title.
Conformably with these settled jurisprudence, the prescriptive period for petitioners' action for
reconveyance is 10 years from August 30, 1963, the date of the issuance of TCT in favor of Beato.
Obviously, the discussion on this subject matter is not beneficial to petitioners because they filed
the action for reconveyance only on April 27, 1987.

Hence, petition was dismissed.